'Protectionism is not a solution, but a dangerous dead end': MOFCOM

2024-06-05 13:15:27Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Senior Chinese trade officials warned on Tuesday that protectionism is not a solution, but a dangerous dead end, in a response to the recent anti-subsidy investigation by the EU into Chinese EVs, highlighting that China is open to dialogues with Europe for fair competition and better economic ties.

The remarks were made during a meeting between China's Minister of Commerce (MOFCOM) Wang Wentao and Portuguese Minister of Economy Pedro Reis in Lisbon. Both sides exchanged in-depth views on promoting healthy bilateral economic and trade relations across multiple sectors.

The high-level meeting was one of a series of meetings and events held by the senior Chinese trade official during his trip to Europe, at a time when the EU is pushing to investigate Chinese electric vehicles (EVs) due to the alleged "overcapacity" in the industry and threatening to levy provisional duties recently, according to media reports.

The recent protectionist actions by the EU targeting Chinese EVs have seriously disrupted industrial cooperation between the two sides and eroded Chinese investors' confidence in Europe, Wang noted, adding that protectionism is not a solution, but a dangerous dead end.

Following the recent US tariff hikes on selected Chinese goods, the European Commission is reportedly planning to impose provisional duties on Chinese EVs from July 4, the Hong Kong-based South China Morning Post reported on Wednesday.

Wang urged both sides to engage in equal discussions on mutual economic and trade concerns. He said that China is willing to foster fair competition with the EU by boosting cooperation to enhance the development of China-EU economic and trade relations.

This year marks the 45th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Portugal. China is committed to cooperating with Portugal to implement the significant consensus reached by the two heads of state and further advance bilateral economic and trade relations, Wang said.

Reis agreed that expanding cooperation and promoting fair competition are the right ways to address trade issues. Portuguese and Chinese enterprises should enhance cooperation to contribute positive momentum to the global economy, he said.

During the roundtable meeting with Chinese-funded enterprises in Portugal on the same day, Wang strongly refuted the baseless accusations of "unfair competition" against China by some Western countries, urging them to adhere to international trade rules, rather than arbitrarily disrupting them.

Moreover, Wang also encouraged Chinese-funded enterprises to actively engage in pragmatic bilateral cooperation, and explore and cultivate new avenues for cooperation across multiple sectors, particularly the green economy.

On Tuesday, the two senior trade officials delved further into the follow-up actions from the bilateral high-level forum that took place on April 23, in the Macao Special Administrative Region. During the forum, they discussed enhancing multilateral cooperation through connecting with the Belt and Road Initiative, promoting trade and investment, and expanding industrial and supply chains, among other measures, to establish a diverse and innovative cooperation framework.

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